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Acclaim Tries Bloodvertising To Promote New Game 62

Thanks to Ananova for reporting that Acclaim UK are trying what they call 'bloodvertising' to promote Gladiator: Sword of Vengeance, their PlayStation 2 and Xbox title billed as "the bloodiest ever [videogame]." The UK promotion will include: "Advertisements in bus shelters.. [where] cartridges of red dye will be placed behind clear sheets of film and released over a six-day period. The 'blood' will slowly appear to spill out on the streets and drip onto the pavements." This continues Acclaim's increasingly desperate series of publicity stunts, including using "spray-painted homing pigeons" at the Wimbledon tennis tournament and trying to place game adverts on gravestones.
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Acclaim Tries Bloodvertising To Promote New Game

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  • This is a problem (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Apreche ( 239272 ) on Friday November 28, 2003 @11:53PM (#7585648) Homepage Journal
    While this advertising is kind of crappy and cheesy it represents a disturbing trend in video games. The trend for developers to concentrate more on theme than gameplay.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm totally against censorship and such. I'm not one of those that think violent video games are evil or some such, hell I play cs lots. But Acclaim (seemingly the worst offender) is trying to sell a game because the game is bloody. Give me an hour and I'll code some blood in opengl. I'll make a program where every time you click a huge pool of blood explodes and spills everywhere. Is it a fun game? no.

    I've noticed that lately a lot of people have been buying games based on theme. Like all the people who buy a Final Fantasy game just because it says Final Fantasy on it. Or all the people who put down the GameCube just because it looks like its for kids. These are the shallow minded retards that probably buy games Acclaim makes. You know a video game is a good game when you can replace every sprite with a stick figure and replace every thing else with color coded squares and it's still fun to play. That's a damn good game. If a game is only fun because the pictures happen to be pictures of trademarked characters or guns or blood or whatever the game still isn't a good game.

    Look at Smash Bros. Sure they used their entire Nintendo lineup of characters as the theme. But if you took it away and replaced them all with stick figures the game would still rock the house. Now take any Acclaim game, do the same. What no gameplay?

    If you want to see some blood there are a thousand websites with videos of hideous injuries you can look at. These ads are just one more way stupid developers are cheapening the industry.
    • Re:This is a problem (Score:4, Interesting)

      by alphaseven ( 540122 ) on Saturday November 29, 2003 @12:04AM (#7585686)
      Don't worry, Acclaim will not do this, it's just another stupid Acclaim press release.

      Every time they got a game coming out the make up some outlandish proposal to get some press. You'd think people would catch on by now.

    • by Cecil ( 37810 ) on Saturday November 29, 2003 @12:21AM (#7585741) Homepage
      I have a problem with the following implication:

      Like all the people who buy a Final Fantasy game just because it says Final Fantasy on it.

      which concludes that:

      These are the shallow minded retards that probably buy games Acclaim makes.

      I am not a Final Fantasy Fanboi, although I'm sure some people would disagree. I do think it's unfair to say that people who bought it just for the name are retarded. I buy Final Fantasy games just for the name, granted. It does not make me retarded. I buy them because they are a franchise which has excellent quality standards, because they are made by the same company, a company that I admire and trust with my purchasing decisions. Brand loyalty? Yes.

      Admittedly, some people don't enjoy the FF series. Are they the people who keep buying FF games? I doubt it. If they are, then I grant you your point, those people are stupid, and would likely also buy Acclaim crap.

      If you like the series, and have in every past iteration, and have liked every spinoff line, then why SHOULDN'T you buy the game just based on it's name? It's very likely that you *will* end up enjoying it a lot. (and if not, it only takes bad purchase to break you of that habit pretty damn quick. See: Master Of Orion 3, Sim City 4)
      • by JAYOYAYOYAYO ( 700885 ) on Saturday November 29, 2003 @01:26AM (#7585937)
        "I am not a Final Fantasy Fanboi" bro, your username is 'Cecil' and you have a link to Final Fantasy music videos in your sig.
        • Perhaps you have a different definition of fanboy/fanboi than I do, but while I do love Final Fantasy's graphics and gameplay, I will also readily admit that FF Anthology was a horribly done port, and that FF10 had painfully trite and uninteresting characters (and plot), and numerous other failings of Final Fantasy in general. In fact, I can often be a rather spiteful critic of it. I hated FF6's move towards steampunk-technology, I hated FF7's materia system and 3D graphics. Although the latter really grew
      • by Anonymous Coward
        The Final Fantasy series must still be entertaining/enjoyable if people are still buying the games. For contrast, look at Lara Croft. No amount of brand loyalty is saving that franchise from its doom.

        I downgraded by interest in Final Fantasy games not because I didn't like the games, but because I wanted to expand my collection of games to include other sources. I'll still buy Final Fantasy games... just not at full/initial price.
    • Re:This is a problem (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Babbster ( 107076 ) <`moc.liamg' `ta' `bbabnoraa'> on Saturday November 29, 2003 @02:05AM (#7586044) Homepage
      Whether you enjoy Final Fantasy games or not, there are people who do. It hardly makes them "retards."

      The "crime" of which you seem to consider others guilty is one that you yourself have committed in deciding before playing that Acclaim's game is bad. In other words, you seem to be indicating that buying a game because you've enjoyed other games from the same series or company in the past is wrong, while insulting a game from a company that has done bad games in the past is perfectly acceptable.

      I would also suggest to you that just because you feel that Super Smash Brothers, with or without great graphics, can "rock the house," it doesn't make it a great video game achievement - it's a fighting game with Nintendo characters. There are probably plenty of people who DON'T like the game (I didn't care for it that much myself). It's certainly not like Nintendo started some revolution with the series, and the unassailable fact is that the game would NOT have been as successful had it not included Nintendo characters from other games.

      Me? I think that Acclaim tends, on average, to produce sub-par games and that their marketing strategies are often tacky and inappropriate. Of course, that's true of most advertising and probably shouldn't warrant extra attention just because they happen to be selling video games.

      I want to note, too, that I managed to write all of the above without referring to you or anyone else by using offensive terminology. My rule of thumb is that anyone who would throw the term "retard" around is probably someone in a glass house.

    • Or all the people who put down the GameCube just because it looks like its for kids.

      Um, I do not know how it is in the US of A, but here in the Netherlands, the only games for Nintendo that do get some ad time, are Mario, Zelda and the occasional sports game. The cool games get the attention in the specialized game magazines, you never see them in any mass media. So Average Joe thinks that the GameCube is a kiddie console.

      der Joachim
    • "I'll make a program where every time you click a huge pool of blood explodes and spills everywhere. Is it a fun game? no."

      I'd play it. I mean, I wouldn't pay for it, but I'd play it. Shoving a guy down the stairs or running a guy into a wall with a truck [] is fun, so why wouldn't exploding blood pools be fun?

    • hmmm I like final fantasy games,

      I ALSO like Xenosaga, Dragon Warrior, and other RPG's.

      Im not buying it cause its Final Fantasy, I could give a rats ass, Im buying it cause I love the RPG genire and square does put out a good game even if some people cant stand them.

      And having played Smash brothers, I HIGHLY doubt the game would rock if it wherent Nintendo characters. The charm and reason I love playing that game is the pure fact I can beat the shit out of other characters with my favorite character. I

    • Or all the people who put down the GameCube just because it looks like its for kids. These are the shallow minded retards that probably buy games Acclaim makes.

      Interestingly, Acclaim aren't 100% committed to the Gamecube. [] I think you might be right.
  • oh yeah... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by herrvinny ( 698679 ) on Friday November 28, 2003 @11:54PM (#7585649)
    Shaun White, Communications Manager at Acclaim, said: "The concept of 'Bloodvertising' ties in with our marketing strategy and sticks to the theme of blood and carnage which is consistent throughout the Gladiator video game."

    Terrific. The parent and "think of the children" groups are going to have a field day with this. Blood dripping into the streets? Yup, someone in a high place is going to be told about this and raise a firestorm.
    • Blood dripping into the streets? Yup, someone in a high place is going to be told about this and raise a firestorm.

      And this is bad for their advertising campaign HOW?

      What happens every time a product is "boycotted" or these angry mom groups raise a stink? The company sells more of the product than ever before.

      They are doing this on purpose.
  • Turok (Score:4, Informative)

    by Luigi30 ( 656867 ) on Friday November 28, 2003 @11:56PM (#7585655)
    Don't forget when they got someone to name their kid Turok for $100,000... (sorry for repost, slashdot hiccuped and said I was an AC)
    • Re:Turok (Score:4, Informative)

      by FatalTourist ( 633757 ) on Saturday November 29, 2003 @01:30AM (#7585951) Homepage
      I hadn't heard of that so I Googled for it and found this [].
      But I also accidently found this other Turok marketing thingy [], where they brainwash you into thinking you're Turok or something. Now I'm not exactly sure if that means that you become the video game character, the video game itself, or the $10,000 baby.
      Either way you get "500 in cash, plus an X-Box, plus every Turok game that ever was." I woulda settled for a $2 and firm pat on the buttocks.
      • Nice link there. I'd expect more than $500 though... more like... A MILLION DOLLARS! Oh wait, I can just sue for psychological trauma.
  • by hookedup ( 630460 ) on Friday November 28, 2003 @11:59PM (#7585668)

    The 'blood' will slowly appear to spill out on the streets and drip onto the pavements.

    What happense if if someone gets this on their pantlegs or shoes?
    But really....I think one of the advertisers was watching simpsons and saw the episode [] with the itchy scratchy: the movie billboard which poured blood onto the newlyweds below.
  • by Yakman ( 22964 ) on Saturday November 29, 2003 @12:00AM (#7585674) Homepage Journal
    You see, the point of these campaigns Acclaim does, and especially their promotion of them before their fact, is that they get more publicity than by just running the campaign. Even if they never actually go ahead with the bus shelter campaign the game, their brand, etc, is all out in the media.. and FOR FREE!

    Pretty good marketing, really.
    • Exactly. I don't even live in the US, and reading about the ads affected me. I instantly went to the game website to see if it really was the bloodiest game ever. Nope it isn't. At least, not on the videos it showed. I then hoped over to Gamespot. The review is pretty good in fact. I had never heard of the game before, but it seems pretty cool. Maybe I'll rent it someday.
  • So... What happens if somebody gets the "blood" on their fancy clothing or new car or something, and decides to sue for damages? Isn't Acclaim accountable for damages caused by their marketing scheme?
  • Too bad... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 29, 2003 @12:16AM (#7585728)
    The Acclaim marketing department has more creativity than the actual project developers.
  • Crap. (Score:2, Funny)

    by suss ( 158993 )
    Maybe someone should replace the red dye cartridges with brown ones to reflect the true nature of this advertising campaign.

    Acclaim have shit-for-brains and every time they pull this sort of crap, they get free publicity in the media.
  • What next? (Score:5, Funny)

    by morcheeba ( 260908 ) on Saturday November 29, 2003 @02:01AM (#7586036) Journal
    zoocube [] ads will excrete poo?
    ducatti world [] leaks oil?
    I don't even want to know what liquid they'll use to promote Iggy's Reckin Balls! []
  • I guess you could call this an attempt to squeeze blood from a stone...
  • by Rayonic ( 462789 ) on Saturday November 29, 2003 @03:40AM (#7586289) Homepage Journal
    What I really don't get is why, in all these crass advertising campaigns, it's always Acclaim UK that's doing it. (Go and check if you don't believe me.) Are Britons forever cursed to be the testing bed for low advertising? Any real-life Brits care to illuminate us on this subject?
    • I've never noticed any particularly crap and/or "low" ads here... I've seen worse on American TV (ooh, install this Internet terminal and make $$$ fast!) and billboards (can't think of any examples). I expect this is just for publicity and they won't actually do it.
  • by AllenChristopher ( 679129 ) on Saturday November 29, 2003 @04:24AM (#7586360)
    Regarding the Turok contest:

    About Identity Marketing []

    Dr S. Cantrell isn't real. His book, "Market Their Pants Off!" (Engell International, ISBN 0552546925), isn't real. The whole thing was a hoax. I mean, my God, look at the man.. could that more clearly be a prop bow-tie?

    The gravestone thing was a hoax as well... I haven't the link at the moment.

    So the chances of this being real are terribly, terribly low. Especially with the cleaning of the sidewalks....

    In a few days, we'll find out this was a hoax. Those of us who were here to read about it will remember, but a whole new set of people will get interested, and maybe angry, about the next one. Yay. Pthppht.

  • False advertising (Score:4, Informative)

    by cgenman ( 325138 ) on Saturday November 29, 2003 @04:41AM (#7586385) Homepage
    Sadly, if you go to the images page [], it is apparent that gladiator is not actually all that bloody. It's not a member of the elite class [] of games where you can hack your opponent's limbs off [], for example. There are no explosions, so bits of grizzle don't spray everywhere like in FPS games. No internally bits [] are ever on the outside. It's not even funny. [] Where is the violence? The nastiness? Where is the dark foreboding nature of of the world laid bare like scraped flesh covered in dirt and pebbles?

    No, what we get is a series of repetitive blood textures added to the grounds around where a traditional penetration damage model is taking place. Nothing new here.

    Now if you'll excuse me, I have some Happy Tree Friends [] to watch.
    • No, what we get is a series of repetitive blood textures added to the grounds around where a traditional penetration damage model is taking place.

      Hey, speak for yourself; I, for one, am quite a fan of traditional penetration.
  • this somehow doesnt surprise me, that marketers would eventually come up with stupid shit like this to try and sell their products.. the game industry is so huge nowadays, and people are gonna try to outdo each other and do the next thing that causes a stir. its just like tv, or movies, or any other entertainment media.. you got yer FOX-type and you got yer PBS-type.
  • by 1iar_parad0x ( 676662 ) on Saturday November 29, 2003 @07:08AM (#7586622)

    I don't want to play games anymore because their so violent. Okay so this game isn't the most violent, but they're advertising is over the top. Games are dark. I feel depressed after spending hours killing stuff. Maybe I'm getting old, but I like a little bit more in my entertainment.

    I was just killing some time at the mall yesterday. I start to overhear (she was hard not to hear) a mother getting upset about the ratings on a video game. She was worried that "Syphon Filter" was too violent a game. She started asking some of the salespeople (read saleskids) if they had played the game. She asked them if the game was violent. Hmm. Let's see, your a trained killer sent by the government to kill. Geeze, I don't know if the guy carrying a gun on the cover is any clue. I guess in the world of video games it's not as bad as that new serial killer game or the naked bike riding game or the anarchy game. I know it's easy to code the hunt and kill AI. It's hard to parse out text. And we all know games can't pass the Turing test. MMORPGs are still young and we just aren't all that creative. Trust me, hackers are smart but they're just not creative. Most games looks like a cross between Snowcrash and the Evil Dead.

    You know I heard a story about Nero once. People around him were starving yet he would hold these massive feasts. There would be too much food for even Nero too eat. The party-goers would gorge themselves until they became full. Then they would proceed to vomit the food they ate so they could run back to the dinner table and gorge some more. They became addicted to the pleasures of life. So much even the simple act of eating became unhealthy.

    Look, I'm going to do more than boycott this game. I intend on personally blacklisting Acclaim and the designer. Any other game that this desinger(s) or Acclaim puts out, I won't buy. I'm going to write them an email telling them this. I don't want Joe Lieberman to create a new law. I don't want Phil Mushnik to write a bunch of articles about this. I want to boycott Acclaim. I'm part of their prime demographic. I'm a young male who writes code for a living and can afford to buy such a game. We've got to let them know. Frankly, the game industry is worse than the music industry. There aren't any legitimate artists making games. John Carmack can code, but he couldn't design his way out of a paper bag. He's got the creativity of a 13 year old hopped up on Ritalin.

    end of rant

  • by Kyouryuu ( 685884 ) on Saturday November 29, 2003 @01:00PM (#7587793) Homepage
    It's remarkable to what lengths a company will go to foist a sub-par video game into the limelight. Acclaim hasn't made anything worthwhile in months, if not years. A desperate advertising campaign like this is only trying to mask their shortcomings in game design.
  • Slashdot forgot about the time when Acclaim paid a guy to wait 2 months outside a video game store for Turok: Evolution to come out. He camped outside their door for about a week, then he disappeared overnight when the cameras stopped watching him. Got a big media frenzy out of it...if you consider maybe half a dozen game news sites a 'media frenzy'.
  • An archive strip, not on the subject of Acclaim's advertising stunts, but really the company itself. I wonder how do they really feel about it? []
  • Blood and gore was interesting when it was new, but I think companies think this is the end all and be all of video games, which it isn't. [mailto]

If it's not in the computer, it doesn't exist.